By CBSMiami.com Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Residents and businesses have a week to chime in on a proposal to add an area code in South Florida.

With a Dec. 28 deadline for public comments to the state Public Service Commission, three alternatives were put forward Tuesday for a new area code that would relieve the 305 and 786 area codes in Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. The alternatives were offered by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, an agency that oversees area codes.

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Two of the alternatives would impact Broward County. However, Cecilia McCabe, an area code relief planner for the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, said the telecommunications industry is proposing what is known as an “all-services overlay” that would only impact areas in Miami-Dade and the Keys covered by the 305 and 786 area codes.

“One reason this was proposed by the industry is due to the projected life of the all-services distributed overlay, as well as the ability to implement it more quickly than the other alternatives,” McCabe said during an online workshop hosted by the Public Service Commission.

Under the recommended alternative, the new area code would be given to new phone customers or people getting additional lines in the 305 and 786 areas. Current customers would keep their phone numbers.

Because of the growing population, along with such things as cell phones and internet technology that require telephone numbers, the 305 and 786 area codes are forecast to run out of numbers in the first quarter of 2024. The industry-backed proposal would keep the region from needing an additional code for at least 19 years, McCabe said.

The 305 area code, Florida’s first, was created in 1947, and the 786 overlay was added in 1998 in Miami-Dade County. The 786 area code was extended across the Florida Keys in 2014.

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The other potential alternatives would impact the 954 and 754 area codes that cover Broward County.

In one, the 305, 786, 954 and 754 codes would be dealt to new customers regardless of county. The effort would extend the region’s current codes for a decade.

The other alternative would add a new code in Broward and Miami-Dade counties and the Keys. New customers would be given any of the existing four codes or the new overlay number. The change would be projected to keep the region from requiring another code for 22 years.

The 954 area code was split from 305 in 1995. The 754 area code was added as an overlay to the 954 in 2001.

Public Service Commissioners are expected to vote on the area-code issue Feb. 1, said commission Public Utility Analyst Sakina Deas. Commission staff members are expected to file a recommendation on Jan. 20.

Written comments should be emailed to clerk@psc.state.fl.us or mailed to the Florida Public Service Commission Office of Commission Clerk, 2540 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850.

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CBSMiami.com Team